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goods of others, because they want to get rich quickly at the expense of others. They are animated not by a hatred of the bourgeoisie, but by a jealous rage that the bourgeoisie does not consist of them and them alone. The vilest of them, such as M. Cachin, proclaim aloud their hatred of France. They are solid, they tell us, with their German comrades; they are the enemies of the French bourgeois; they delight to deafen the French patriots with the ory of "Long live Germany! Long live Germany, red, communist, and sovietist!"
Had we not heard the same ery at home we might hesitate to believe that it could be raised by a Frenchman who had watched for four years the sad history of the war. But the ineffable M. Cachin leaves us no room for doubt. He goes beyond the worst of our scoundrels, inspired though they be by the Jews of Russia. "We are revolutionaries "-these are his exact words,-"once more we proclaim aloud: the workers have no fatherland, and we know well that this formula is true. Though we live in Paris, all our thoughts, all our hopes, all our hearts are in Germany-down there, in the basin of the Ruhr, where the German people is fighting for liberty. Above parties, above fatherlands, there is the working class. Wherever a proletariat is fighting for communism there is a brother, and we would rather be the soldiers of a world-wide revolu
tion than the citizens of a democratic republic. We prefer the iron-grey uniforms of the red guards of the Ruhr to the sky-blue of the French Army." Were these things not said and written we should hesitate to believe them possible. The Russian terror has taught the miscreants nothing, and when we remember that the "proletariat" everywhere consists of Jew millionaires, half-baked intellectuals, and their dupes, we recognise how difficult it is to bring about a better state of things. M. Caohin doesn't matter in the long-run-the Jew millionaire passes away with his stolen money-bags, but the dupes remain. From them we cannot withhold a certain pity. They know not what they do or say. They suffer less from malevolence than from & subtly inoculated disease. They are the victims of a suggestion, the more dangerous because the vote has given them a power which they only half comprehend. We asked highly-cultivated Frenchman, who stands far aloof from political parties, to what he set down the spiritual unrest of his countrymen, and this is what he told us in reply. 'Nothing is to be done," said he, "by doles or concessions to satisfy the working classes. They have more money than they want, and less werk than they can do with ease and comfort. The one thing they need is a change of heart and mind, and this change cannot be attained without a catastrophe. It took four years of
war and the loss of 2,000,000 lives to send France back upon the road of faith. How great a tragedy will be necessary to show her the path leading to toil and prosperity! And the worst is that the politicians do not want to see a change of mind and heart. They prefer the state of flux in which their constituents are kept by discontent and unrest. The voters, they think, are more easily managed when they are agitated. So the ministers encourage the Socialists, with whom they have a lively sympathy, and allow the Anarchists to utter whatever blasphemies against the State they are cunning enough to invent. Thus the men of sound opinion and sincere patriotism are excluded altogether from the management of affairs, and men of the same type as Mr Lloyd George are able to keep the reins of power in their hands.” Nor is this all that we learned from a critic of French politics. "You must remember," he went on, "that the government, weakly as it discharges its duties, has very great powers. Ever since Napoleon invented 8 system, which worked well enough when controlled by an autoorat of genius, the Governments of France have insisted upon ordering all things from Paris. From Paris are sent the prefeots, who carry into the provinces a complete ignorance of provincial life and a complete subservience to the Government which happens for the moment to be in power. Since the prefects must at all
VOL. CCVII.-NO, MCCLV.
hazards be anti-clerical, it follows that they are very often Jews. At any rate, their sympathies are all with the capital, and they do their best to force a false uniformity upon the great country towns of France. What is happening in Alsace to-day is typical of the system, which never was justified save by the genius of Napoleon. The Alsatians, ardently French as they are, find their affections grow cold when they are asked to obey officials who understand neither their wants nor their character. If the French Government does not take care it may have, instead of a loyal province, another Ireland at its door, simply because it refuses to acknowledge that what we call 'local government' is the first necessity of the provinces, that a poliey of 'regionalism,' as it is called in France, alone can restore to the old kingdoms and duchies of France the old life and the old spirit which were once their glory. Even if Napoleon's system were a system of strength, it has become under the Republic a system of weakness, and should be made an end of."
And according to our critic, the prevailing centralisation more than anything else preyents a change of mind and heart in the French people. "If you impose upon all men the same method of life, the same duties, you can keep them more readily faithful to the ballot-box. As the Roman Emperor wished that the people had but one head that 3 c
he might out it off, so the demagogue wishes that the people might have but one opinion, that he may flatter it. And in order that the voters may not win too large a share of independence, the Government takes care that they shall all have precisely the same sort of teaching. From the elementary school to the university all institutions are under the thumb of the Government, which decides what shall be taught, and appoints the teachers. The school teachers of France are Radioal Socialists, who prepare the voters for their task of voting. The École Normale is a hot-bed of revolution, and even the Sorbonne has become, under the control of the Government, a school of anarchy. Obviously, if the Government controls the universities and gives professorships as a reward for political service, learning loses its worth and its independence. And the worst of it is, that the Government has created a vicious spider's web, from which the poor fly, the citizen, can never escape. The citizen gets his opinion from the school or the university controlled by the State; he renders his allegiance to the State, which has made him what he is. Where is the possibility of escape? Nowhere, save in a change of régime. And how can this change be brought about? Only by the bloodshed of a reactionary revolution. There is nothing, therefore, to be done. France must remain what she is today the poor victim of a vicious system.'
Thus our French critic in his conclusion is frankly and openly a pessimist. In his pessimism we cannot agree. Where a change of régime is possible the passage of the years will show. That a change of régime in France need be bloody we do not believe. The history of the last hundred years is all in favour of a quiet and peaceful revolution. When the Royalists succeeded to Napoleon, they succeeded with a triumphant tranquillity. Neither 1830 nor 1848 caused the gutters of Paris to flow with blood, and the coup d'état of the third Napoleon was made with the sacrifice of nothing more than the pride of a few pretentious personages. We do not, therefore, despair of such a change in the Government of France as may restore a vivid life to the provinces, and may save a great country from the dire consequences of a lawless and godless democracy. Meanwhile, we wish that our Government would recognise the harm that has been done in France by the public control of education. The wish, we fear, is vain. The ambition of Messrs George and Fisher is far greater than their care for England. And if they see political profit in subordinating the interests of learning to the exigence of the ballot-box, then learning will stand no chance at all.
Meanwhile there are signs not a few that France understands, more clearly than ever she did, the problems which confront her. Never before
was her press so well informed, and so keen in its defence of the fatherland. There was a time, some twenty years ago, when the French press was a strange mixture of violence and frivolity. Side by side you found every day in adjacent columns a reckless pamphlet and a fine specimen of what was called the esprit gaulois. In other words, Henri Rochefort jostled Armand Silvestre, and both tastes were satisfied. The newspapers were not then at the pains to collect news, nor to check the truth of such news as by accident came to their offices. To-day all is changed, and changed, may be, not always for the better. We shall always believe that the Journal of a quarter of a century ago, which had no other purpose than to amuse, was the best paper of its kind that ever smiled gaily upon the world. It did not add to our information; it did not trouble to instruct the public opinion of France. It raised a laugh, and those who read it passed on all the better, let us hope, for the jest. The journals of this year, 1920, are serious. It is not for them to smile and to joke. The situation is too grave for frivolity. They prefer to preach, and it must be allowed that they preach with sound knowledge and a good purpose. They do not make the same ridiculous mistakes which once disgraced them. No French newspaper will declare again, as the Figaro once declared, that the late Lord Salisbury owed his skill in policy to the
fact that he was the son of Lord Beaconsfield. Never again shall we be told that England had made an attack upon a group of islands called the Minquiers, the most of which are submerged at high tide. No editor would hold his place for a week who had not a clear appreciation of what was happening in England and Germany and America. The tact and discretion with which the late orisis was handled by the press of Paris is the best proof of the new spirit which is now guiding the country. The insolence of Mr George, the tone, as of an usher, adopted by Lord Curzon, would have justified a quick irritation, if not an outburst of anger. Not a word was said which could have hurt the feelings of England, which, after all, deserved no lenient treatment; not a word was written which did not tend to appeasement.
Here, then, is a hopeful sign if not for the wit, at least for the good understanding of the future. And while we render justice to the republican press of France, let us not forget the admirable work which is done to-day by L'Action Française, the journal of the Royalists. Never was there a better combination in the conduct of a newspaper than MM. Charles Maurras and Léon Daudet. M. Daudet is a pamphleteer of a candid and fearless mind. If we would find his parallel in England we must compare him with Mr Leo Maxse. The two men are inspired equally with a love of their country. Neither cedes to the other in courage
and honesty. Both suffer from does not show many saorifices, complete and ungrudging, as was the sacrifice of M. Maurras. The very fact of the sacrifice adds weight to every word that M. Maurras writes. We wish only that the Prince whom he would put upon the throne were the more worthy his regard. We in England have the misfortune to know a side of the Duc d'Orléans' eharacter which has escaped the vigilance of M. Maurras. However, he is a Legitimist, and must needs support the Prince whom history has set before him. And let it be remembered that the principles of M. Maurras are not endangered by the failure or success of the French monarchy. L'Action Française fights the battle of France without regard to the political parties, which are the curse of the country; and even if it did not profess aloud the monarchical principle, it would still fight with courage and pertinacity the battle of patriotism. And it is in the eareer of MM. Maurras and Daudet, and not in the greedy egoism of the Chamber, that the best hope of France lies.
the defect of their quality-a
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